Re-post: Why Worldviews Matter

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“The Christian and the Materialist hold different beliefs about the universe.  They can’t both be right.  The one who is wrong will act in a way which simply doesn’t fit the real universe.”
— C. S. Lewis

A sound worldview is an under-appreciated aspect of living a maximized life.  To be sure everyone has one — the question is, does the worldview he has correspond to the world in which he lives?

The late Chuck Colson did more than anyone I know to explain the significance of a worldview generally, and why it was so vitally important to have a biblical worldview.

When the game is over, it all goes back in the box

Colson explained that to have a biblical worldview was to view the whole of life through the lens of scripture.  That is, one examines the four principal questions of our existence in light of what the Bible teaches. Those four questions are as follows:

  1. Where did we come from?
  2. What is our fundamental problem?
  3. What is the remedy for our fundamental problem?
  4. How should we live?

The Bible frames the answers to these questions with the following words:

  • Creation
  • Fall
  • Redemption
  • Restoration

Creation

The Bible teaches that God — the infinite, personal God — created the heavens and the earth and filled them with all kinds of creatures.  At the head of the created order, God placed humanity, on whom He had stamped His likeness.  We refer to this as the imago dei — the image of God.  So from the beginning we can draw two important inferences — 1) God is the maker and ruler of everything there is,  and 2)  There is something divinely different about human life because of the imago dei.

Fall

It wasn’t long after God placed the man and the woman — Adam and Eve — in the Garden of Eden, that they exercised free will and broke the one and only rule God had given them.  Specifically, they were not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  Even though they knew it was wrong, they chose to eat it anyway.  This created a fourfold disruption of the harmony that had existed at creation.  From then on, there was conflict between man and nature, between man and woman (and among people generally), between man and himself, and most tragically, between man and God.

Here we can see that our fundamental problem is that we are in rebellion against the owner of the cosmos.  His judgment of us is correct, because He gave us perfect bodies in a perfect world and we rejected it and God with it.  And because we offended a loving and just God, He must punish our disobedience.

Redemption

Even at the moment of man’s rebellion, God was not about to give up on us.  Once God had established His covenant with Abraham and promised to make a childless septuagenarian into a great nation, he increased their number and even delivered them from slavery in Egypt.  He gave them His law — proving His love and faithfulness despite multiple betrayals.  He sent prophets to tell of the coming king who would bring about the kingdom of Heaven and no longer hold men’s sins against them.

And as those who celebrate Christmas know, at the figurative confluence of Athens, Rome and Jerusalem — where a common language, an  effective system of roads and commerce and a prevailing and ascendant monotheism were in place, Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem.

Understand that this was God in human flesh — one man with two natures, fully human and fully divine —  and totally without sin.  Only He could die in our place and satisfy the claims of divine justice on behalf of all who would believe.  And, as we celebrate at Easter, Jesus conquered death through His resurrection.

Here then is the remedy for our fundamental problem.  Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, we can be reconciled to God.

Restoration

The purpose of Jesus’ incarnation, death and resurrection is not to give us a do-over.  It is not to erase the slate of our lives so we can mark it up again.  If you’re His, you’re absolutely forgiven forever.  Believe it!  But His purpose was to restore the harmony and perfection that was ours when the universe was brand new.  For this reason, every disciple is to live in gratitude and conduct himself in such a way as to make earth as much like Heaven as possible.  The real Heaven, the new Heaven and the new earth are still ahead, but our mission is to live as if it’s already ours.

Is There a Difference?

In their book unChristian, Gabe Lyons and David Kinnaman report that roughly 84% of Americans identify themselves as Christians.  However, no more than 9% of Americans can be said to have a biblical worldview.  Could this explain why the attitudes and behaviors of Christians are so hard to distinguish from the population at large?  For you to be the best version of yourself possible, I urge you to cultivate a biblical worldview — and for Heaven’s sake, live it.

So how about you?  How will you cultivate — and live according to — a biblical worldview?  Add your comments below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Bring your best manners, please.

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